Coalition governments pass a combined R100 billion in pro-poor budgets in Johannesburg, Tshwane and NMB

The following remarks were recently delivered  at a press conference of coalition partners unpacking the 2018/2019 metro budgets passed in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay. The representatives consisted of DA Leader Mmusi Maimane, Cope President Mosiuoa Lekota, ACDP National Chairperson Jo-Ann Downs, FF+ Leader Pieter Groenewald, and IFP Mayco Member for Transport in Johannesburg Nonhlanhla Makhuba. 

In the 2016 Local Government Elections, after over 20 years of ANC government neglect, the people rightly fired the ANC and chose alternative governments in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay. From the moment the coalition governments assumed office in these metros, they all set out with a shared vision: to aggressively crush corruption, wage an unrelenting war on crime, shape an enabling environment for job creation and deliver nothing but the highest standard of services to all.

While there is still a long journey and many more complex problems for these coalition governments to solve, huge progress continues to be made.

Last month, the coalition governments in the City of Johannesburg, City of Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay in total passed more than a R100 billion in budgets for the 2018/19 financial year. What distinguishes these budgets from previous metro budgets under the ANC is that they are all singularly focused on pro-poor basic service delivery improvements, and on creating an enabling environment for job creation, defeating corruption, and winning the fight against crime.

Our aim is simple: our governments must distinguish themselves by delivering nothing but the best services to all residents of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay.

Every coalition government has crafted a budget that prioritises basic service delivery over luxuries. This is evidence of coalition governments that are fiscally responsible with the people’s money.

Johannesburg 

Under the coalition government in Johannesburg, the City is well on its way to strengthening its hand as the economic powerhouse of Africa. The City of Johannesburg passed a R58.9 billion budget that is rightly aimed at fixing the financial position of Johannesburg, which was left close to bankruptcy by a billing crisis and rampant corruption. It has achieved this by prioritising spending on infrastructure investment, pro-poor development and visible service delivery.

To this end, the Diphetogo Programme has been the clarion call of the City. The Diphetogo Service Delivery Budget includes budget for infrastructural investment, pro-poor service delivery and the fight against drugs and crime.

Over the next three years more than R1 billion will be invested in the tarring of gravel roads through spending on average R357 million each year – a R40 million per year increase. Residents of Johannesburg can expect 6 000 less pipe bursts over the next year as the City has apportioned almost R1 billion to its water network. The City has doubled the amount allocated to re-cabling old intersections and installing traffic light battery packs, ensuring that traffic light faults at intersections will drop by nearly three quarters. Moreover, almost R200 million has been set aside to solve the residual backlog over the next three years.

This coalition government has stressed the fundamental importance of the people’s money being directed to people who need it the most – the poor and vulnerable. That is why next year’s housing budget of almost R1.5 billion is by far the largest ever in the history of the City.

To make residents feel safer, three Community Substance Abuse Treatment Centres will be built with the R12.5 million budgeted to do so. There is also an increase in capital expenditure for public lights to R45 million, which will see the installation of 2 300 new lights in public areas across the City.

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